A warning for water customers in the Wye Area west of Missoula not to consume drinking water was lifted Friday.
Wye Area Water System determined during a routine monthly test that a water storage tank was illegally accessed and could have had unknown contaminants.
The company posted flyers Thursday alerting residents. While the 24-hour warning was in effect, residents were told to not drink, make ice, brush teeth or prepare food with the water. They were also advised not to boil the water because it could have elevated levels of chemicals.
Dennis Williams is an owner of the Wye Area Water System and says it serves about 110 hookups. He also says the company is not sure what happened, but that it immediately called the Health Department and the Department of Environmental Quality to report the incident.
“At a monthly test we found a beer bottle on top of the tank, so somebody had been up there, we suspected. We don’t know that for sure.”
Tests to check for bacteria and chemicals came back negative on Friday. The Department of Environmental Quality says tests for metals in the water will conclude on Monday and that it also expects those tests to be negative.